In the 19th century, Italian towns (comuni) began keeping records for births, marriages, and deaths (atti di naschita, matrimonio, and morti). These records provide a trove of information, and are the sources for much of the data on this web site. The original records often include additional information that I have not posted here, such as exact time of birth and the street address where the birth or death occurred (which at that time would usually been the individual’s residence). Microfilms of the original records can be obtained from the LDS Library, please see their web site www.familysearch.org
. The LDS and www.Ancestry.com
also have rapidlly growing collections of Italian civil records that can be viewed online. For the Campania region, Ancestry.com has records from many comuni from Caserta province available, while LDS has a number from Napoli and Caserta province available. As of November 2011, civil records from four comunes in Salerno provice, (Castellebate, Gioi, Laureana, and Padula), are available on the LDS web site.
American emigration records are another excellent source of biographical information. They record the names of individuals emigrating, their ports of arrival and departure, and the name of the ship they travelled on. Depending on the year, they may include additional information such as a physical description of the individual, how much cash and luggage they were carrying, and the name and address of their closest relation in the US. Images of emigration records for individuals arriving at New York can be found at www.ellisisland.org
. Images of records from other ports (Boston, Philadelphia, etc.) can be found at www.Ancestry.com